Marvel Legends: (Retro Series) Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy by Hasbro

Hasbro’s retro-carded offshoot of Marvel Legends really pisses me off. These figures look so amazing on the cards, but with very few exceptions (Some ReAction and some Star Wars Vintage Collection), I do open open all of my toys. And I sure as hell don’t have the space to collect doubles to keep a set carded. Of course, some of these releases are simply recycled figures in new packaging, but some, like today’s pair, are brand new. As of now, I’m only picking up two figures from this wave, so let’s check out Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy!

Here they are carded, and they are simply magnificent to behold. The colors are bright, the artwork is crisp, and the figures look fantastic on their crystal clear bubbles against this nostalgic canvas. Even the backs of the cards mimic the old Toy Biz stylings. What’s more, Hasbro uses some durable and heavy stock for these cards, making them a lot easier to find in good condition and that’s obviously a big plus for all the collectors who plan on keeping these carded. The cards are so durable, that it’s actually a bit tough to tear them open. Again, a very good thing! Let’s start out with Gwen!

Truth be told, I’ve always been more of an MJ kinda guy, but that doesn’t mean I’ve got anything against Gwen. Indeed, it’s great to finally have a figure of her in the modern Legends line up. And I have to say, Hasbro did a fantastic job on this figure. Ms. Stacy is dressed in a textured black top with a purple skirt, a green jacket, and high-heeled boots that come up to the tops of her calves. I really like the black and purple deco, because it makes me think Gwen may be a closet Decepticon sympathizer. Yes, I jest, but I really do like these colors. The jacket uses the familiar trick of being sculpted sleeveless and in soft plastic, with the sleeves sculpted as part of the arms. In this case, there is a bit of a gap between the arm holes on the jacket and the sculpted sleeves. It may irk some people, but it doesn’t really mess with the illusion for me. If I had one gripe about the figure it would be that the hands look a little oversized, but maybe that’s just me.

The jacket is sculpted in a slightly open position, with maybe just a bit of billowing to show off her outfit. The belt is sculpted so that it comes away from the jacket and looks pretty good. I really dig how the belt is brown and the loops are green, rather than just sculpting it all in one color to match the jacket. It may sound like a little thing, but I think it adds a little premium feel to the figure. The heels on the boots are a little chunky, and I was happy to find that I didn’t have a lot of difficulty getting her to stand. At the same time, she isn’t a figure that’s terribly well suited for extreme action poses, because the skirt does impede her hip movement a bit, despite slits to help out. There are no surprises in the articulation, and since I’m cramming two figures into today, I won’t run down all the points here.

The head sculpt is excellent, but that’s pretty much to be expected from Marvel Legends at this point. Hasbro continues to stick with paint for their comic characters over the more realistic halftone method that they have adopted for their MCU figures, and I’ve got no complaints here. The paint for the eyes is crisp and clear and I like the softer pink paint they used for her lips. Her long blonde hair is held in check with a simple black headband, and as it spills down the back, it fans out a bit as if by the same light breeze that billows her jacket. It’s really nice how they matched the two.

Gwen comes with a few welcome accessories. First off, she has her Trapper Keeper and her High School Year Book. The Trapper Keeper is cast all in aqua plastic and has some sculpted details, where the Year Book actually has printing on the front cover. Her left hand is sculpted to work with the accessories pretty well. I would have liked a swap-out right hand to help her carry them to class, but I guess that’s what Peter is for!

She also comes with a rolled up copy of the Daily Bugle, which is a very welcome accessory indeed!

And finally, Gwen comes with a Mary Jane head, which I thought was a really strange inclusion. Can we not let Gwen have her own figure? Especially since we got a Mary Jane in a two-pack about five years ago. Well, I’m never one to complain about something extra and it is a very nice portrait indeed. I think it works OK on this body, although MJ’s hair is kind of at odds with the sculpted lapels on the jacket. But in the end, I think this body just works better for Gwen then it does MJ.

If you’re wondering, the new MJ head is too small to work on the previously released Mary Jane figure, and even if it wasn’t, the skin tone is all wrong. Honestly, I like the previous released MJ head. I’m especially fond of the freckles. OK, let’s move on to Peter Parker!

We’ve had an unmasked Peter Parker head bundled with Spider-Man before, but I think this is the first time we’re getting an entire Peter Parker in the modern Legends line. If not, I must have slept on it. Either way, I always thought this figure would come double-packed with a Spider-Man, but the Retro Series seems like as good a place as any. Parker’s civvies include a blue button down shirt, brown leather jacket, blue jeans, and some very white sneakers. The sculpt of the shirt is interrupted by a ball joint under the chest, but otherwise looks fine. They did a particularly nice job with the jacket, right down to the sculpted elastic cuffs, popped collar, and slick glossy finish. The vest and sculpted sleeves trick works better here than on Gwen’s, because the arms fill out the holes and drive the illusion home. You get a little gold paint on the belt buckle, and that’s about all I have to say about the body sculpt here. Oh yeah, the hands look a little too big here too. Is that a running theme with this pair or is it just me? Is hallucinating large hands on action figures a symptom of the COVID? Maybe I need some time off from work. Just think of how many reviews I could get done!!!

Moving on to the portrait aaaand, let’s talk about those glasses, eh? Holy shit, do they look goofy! I totally get what Hasbro was going for here, but I’m just not sure it works well on the figure. Maybe it’s just a question of classic panel art not translating all that well to plastic. The rest of the head sculpt is excellent, and sure, he does have fully sculpted and painted eyes under there, so if you want to lose the glasses, it’s not that difficult to do it without defacing the figure. They’re basically just tabbed into the sides of his head and held fast with a little glue. With all that being said, I’ll probably leave the glasses for now. I do really dig his hair sculpt.

Naturally, Peter comes with his trusty camera, and here’s maybe why his hands look big. This is a chunky camera and he needed some meaty paws to properly hold it. I like that they went with a more traditional looking camera, although maybe kids these days don’t even know what it’s supposed to be. This reminds me that my camera is on its last leg and I’m going to need to invest in a new one real soon.

Ah, but the real star accessory here is the Spider Sense head. It’s easy to forgive those hideous glasses, when we get an alternate head that is this amazing. Everything about this one works for me. I love the startled expression on the exposed part of his head, and the clear sculpted line running between the mask and his face. I’ve been waiting for Hasbro to do something like this for a while now and I’m happy to finally have it.

As much as I would have loved to collect this entire wave and cover my wall with them, I had to be good and just pick up Peter and Gwen. I may pick up the Daredevil if he turns up on sale at some point down the road. And yeah, I wouldn’t mind just having the Spider-Man and Gobbie to keep carded as showpieces, but no… I have to draw the line somewhere. And retro packaging or not, these are both great figures. I would have been just as happy to have gotten these in a two-pack and not had to cry over the torn packaging.

Marvel Legends (Vintage Style): Ant-Man and Wasp by Hasbro

Well, after a whole week of Marvel Legends reviews it’s refreshing to start a new week and get into something diff… oh, riiiiight… It’s Marvel Monday. Well, hopefully everyone isn’t all Marvel’ed out, because apparently we have one more day of this! Today I’m mixing things up just a tad and opening a couple of the Vintage Style figures. Let’s have a look at Ant-Man and Wasp!

This is my first time checking out figures from one of these special waves, and they’re mainly special because of the packaging. Some of these have been repacks, some are brand new figures. I have picked up a few of these in the past, and while I’m always tempted to leave them carded, that just ain’t me. The card-and-bubble is designed to invoke the packaging from Toybiz’s Marvel Superheroes line and it certainly does that. On the downside, they are not collector friendly, so it’s time to get with the shredding. Let’s start with Ant-Man, but first, I’m going to change backgrounds because Wasp’s wings don’t show up all that well against the white!

I’m such a huge fan of this classic Ant-Man suit, and it’s crazy to me that it’s taken so long to get it in the modern Legends line. It’s also a bit crazy that he’s coming as part of this retro-inspired sub-line, rather than in one of the proper waves. No, in the end it doesn’t matter, but I find it worth mentioning nonetheless. The figure itself is very nearly a straight repaint of the Eric O’Grady figure we got as a Walgreens Exclusive back in 2015, and it works just fine for that purpose.

The costume relies almost entirely on the coloring of the buck, with only the belt as original sculpting, and by original, I mean that too was borrowed from the O’Grady figure. Replacing the mostly black buck, we get a mostly red suit, with blue boots, gloves, and ant-undies, and a black stripe running up the chest, forming a circle, and then terminating in a collar. There are some discrepancies in the red, where the red paint doesn’t quite match the red plastic, but overall I think the coloring looks good.

The biggest change to the figure is found on the head, or more specifically the eyes. The O’Grady figure had his eyes painted over as red lenses whereas Hank here has his eyes visible. At first, I thought this was actually a change in the sculpt, but nope, it’s just paint. Otherwise, the helmet is now silver. The grim expression isn’t my first choice, but it works OK. My only concern with this figure is the fragility of the antenna. They look great, but most of my Legends live in baggies and I always have to make sure Black Ant is at the top of the box so his antenna don’t get crushed or warped. I may avoid that here, as I’m probably going to have this pair on display somewhere.

The articulation is identical to the Black Ant figure, right down to those lovely shoulder-crunches. And since I’m looking at two figures today, I’ll be lazy and refer you back to that review for the details. Let’s move on to Wasp!

Janet has had a veritable ton of different costumes in the comics, and to be honest, I’d probably buy more than Hasbro would ever care to release. This one, wouldn’t be high on that list, but that’s mainly because I don’t recall her ever actually wearing it in any of my funnybook readings. I do recall it being released by Toybiz around 2006 as a variant of The Wasp in that Modok Wave. It saw very limited production and I think it ranks up there as being one of, if not the, rarest Toybiz Legends figure. So, while there are at least a dozen other Wasp costumes I’d like to have seen here instead, I do appreciate what Hasbro was doing here.

While Hank was a straight repaint, Janet here is nearly a straight repaint. In this case her body and wings are recycled from the Ultron Wave Wasp, released back in 2015. And while I don’t really have any association with this costume, I do dig it a lot. The blue body suit and white boots and gloves looks great, albeit maybe a bit too Fantastic Four-ish. The arrows pointing down from her thighs are an interesting choice, but I do like the way her black collar forms the “W.” The wings are also the same molds as Ultron Wave Wasp, but now cast in a pinkish-pearlescent and semi-translucent plastic, which compliments the coloring of the costume quite well. Articulation is all the same as the previous Wasp, and once again I’ll just refer you back to that review for the details.

The head sculpt is different from the 2015 Wasp and while I like both, I’m going to give this one the nod. The hair is more of a bob than a pixie cut and the paint on the eyes and lips are sharp and clean.

Each figure comes with a miniaturized version of the other. We’ve seen both of these before, but mine usually wind up in accessory bins, so I’m happy to have a couple more. Sure they’re just simple and tiny sculpts with some rough paint on them, but there’s only so much you can do with these, and to be honest, these look about as good as the miniatures that came with the Hot Toys Ant-Man, so I’m not complaining.

I love what Hasbro is doing with this line, or at least some of it. To be fair, I only picked up two figures from the first wave, Black Widow and The Punisher, so I haven’t been double-dipping on the figures I already have just to get them in the retro-packaging. This pair were must-haves because I love the characters and quite frankly, I’ll buy all the Classic versions of Hank and Janet that Hasbro will pump out. Seriously, Hasbro, call my bluff… I dare you! As for the rest of the wave, it’s mostly figures that I already own, so unless I come across a great deal on them and decide that I want to hang them on my wall, I doubt I’ll be revisiting this retro-series any time soon.